COVID-19 will have minimal impact on remittances
Two percent contraction in remittances seen for 2020
MANILA – NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said during the past two months, remittances have “actually reversed in terms of the trend.”
Speaking at the Virtual Presser hosted by Asst. Secretary Jayvee Arcena past midday today, Undersecretary Edillon said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier projected a contraction of five percent.
“And we think it will be much lower than that because it has actually turned positive this past two months. So overall, we’re probably looking at less than two percent contraction (in remittances),” she said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier said personal cash remittances from overseas Filipinos reached US$33.5 billion with US$30.1 billion coursed through banks.
Two percent of US$33.5 billion is US$670 million. However, 254,785 overseas Filipinos have been repatriated since the Philippine government imposed a nationwide lockdown in March 2020. It will be recalled COVID-19 sent millions of workers out of job as the economy took a beating from the pandemic.
However, Undersecretary Edillon said while most repatriated Filipinos may not easily be redeployed, there is still a huge demand for work abroad, for health sector workers.
“Some will have, you know, a job as engineers constructing health facilities most probably,” she added.
In its statement released November 16, the BSP said personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached US$2.888 billion in September 2020 which was found higher by 9.1 percent than the US$2.648 billion recorded in September last year.
“This brought the total remittances for the first nine months of 2020 to US$24.302 billion. At this level, the contraction in cumulative remittances for the first nine months narrowed to 1.4 percent from 2.6 percent in August 2020,” the statement disclosed.
Normally, overseas Filipinos remit more foreign currencies during the last quarter of the year on account of the traditional Christmas and New Year season.
Overall, in 2019, the total foreign remittances accounted for 9.3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 7.8 percent of the gross national income (GNI). (Melo M. Acuña)
NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon. (File Photo/Melo M. Acuna)